In this article, we explore 12 ways your website can save you money in business. Having a website is crucial in business today and as any business owner knows, during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns, customers switched to digital services almost overnight. Those that had worked on growing their website from the ground up and focusing on their SEO and valuable content, benefited greatly from increased online sales.
Whilst many website development companies focus on how great a website could look, unfortunately, to succeed online you need to think beyond just the design of the website. Yes, the design is important. Yes, it increases professionalism. Yes, it increases the brand. But it won’t increase visitor traffic nor save you money long-term if you don’t think about the bigger picture and how to make the website work harder for you.
If you plan a website development properly, optimise all the content for targetted keywords and understand what customers and prospects are looking for online, you can actually make a number of savings by making any website do more than was originally perhaps intended.
If you’re a business owner looking to get more from your digital assets, or an organisation that wants to better understand how to utilise its website technology (or perhaps what’s possible), then read on to find out ways your website can help save you money and make everything super efficient. You will explore ways in which your website can be saving you money and provide you with a greater return on investment than you perhaps thought possible.
Tips on Ways Your Website Can Save You Money
Below we have a number of ways a website can save any business money. A lot of it is thinking beyond the reach of the website and how it can integrate into other facets of the business. Hopefully, these tips will help broaden any website further into your organisation so that everything in your digital marketing becomes more efficient too.
Organic SEO Growth with Targeted Content Marketing
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Unlike SEM, SEO means you are not paying for clicks. This is known as Pay per Click (or PPC). This means by appearing in the search engines organically you are not constantly paying for the click-throughs to increase traffic on the site.
Organic SEO is also more trustworthy to some customers because you don’t get the little Ad sign next to the search engine result in Google. This saves on extra costs and higher monthly bills. The other great thing with high-quality content is that you can reuse it time and time again. It becomes an asset to any business. You should think of your content as energy efficient with Google determining the variable cost.
Whilst many still believe that SEO is a con (likely due to the number of spam emails promising you a number 1 position on Google without much work), growing a website organically by adding new content and target content is a great way to make any website work harder and increase return on investment. You essentially do the work once and over time you reap the benefits by increasing your online authority, it’s just like how compound interest works.
SEO works, it can just take time. It also has lots of benefits. Not only are you creating content people are searching for online, but you can offer advice, support and general interest articles about your business or organisation. If your content is good enough, you may even choose to charge a premium content rate such as what you see with newspapers and paywalls. You can also link your content onto wider blogger networks and affiliate networks too. You can even review subscription services to get a greater return on investment as well. You can also review Google Adsense to see how your content can bring in further content advertising too. Just make sure you are budgeting goals effectively otherwise your digital savings goals will go out the window.
If someone is searching for content and answers, then when they land on your website, they’re already interested in the topic you’re talking about, which means they have an interest in your business. It’s a win-win. Google Analytics plays a key role in seeing what content is bringing in traffic to your website, so don’t forget to keep looking at the data for increased results.
Don’t get me wrong, PPC has its place, but if you want to save money, then you can do this with targeted SEO for your chosen keywords. You also look more authentic when the website doesn’t have an Ad sign next to it in the search engine ranking results.
You can complement any SEO strategy with a thought-out content marketing strategy too. The beauty of content marketing is that you can repurpose the content across all your social, video and audio marketing channels. You can take snippets here and there and keep everything focused and on point throughout the business.
Improve Customer Support and Reduce Friction to Answers
By providing information online, you can direct customers and potential customers to information about the product and services on offer. This means you can reduce repetition when speaking to a client, or send them targetted information which you can also reuse time and time again. It can also mean you are sending them the most up-to-date information too.
You will often see this within a company’s knowledge base or self-service centre or business forum area. Very often customers will have the same questions time and time again, and by providing the information on your website you are already keeping them informed and saving yourself some time and employees’ time.
A good example of this would be manuals and how-to guides. Rather than spend time with each individual customer (which would be amazing customer service), once you scale up the business you need an easy way for customers to get access to key information. You can also provide content-rich information in the form of videos, images and step-by-step guides. You could even have someone narrate each step if you wish. This provides a high-level support process without needing to be on standby 24/7.
You could also develop your own self-service chatbot which answers common questions and provides that initial friendly customer experience. Chatbots don’t require sleep and can be available to support anyone anytime they need it. Anything they can’t answer can then be forwarded to the relevant team member to follow up with too so nothing gets lost. The more this technology is used the smarter they become.
By building a customer support portal, you can respond to customer concerns faster through self-service knowledgebase or chatbot technology. You could also use live chat systems or some of the best chat apps for business to handle more calls simultaneously and then offline offer a direct email line.
You can use your website to generate a high level of interest in your products and services and “qualify” your customers online before they speak to someone. For example, some people might just be browsing for more information, whilst others may wish to buy now. By having prospects land on a specific page, you can find out more about their interests and tailor your services to them. This can all be automated so that the moment you do speak to them, you already know more about them. This should greatly assist you in increasing your product sales and digital products too.
You can also use your website for special offers and deals that might be happening with specific private VIP areas for your core customers. This way they keep in the loop with direct pages that otherwise would be difficult to find on your website.
By building a strong call to action and consistently helpful and high-quality content, you can better inform any lead that comes to your website from anywhere in the world. You can also use it to get people to sign up to your email list so you can contact them again later.
You can also use your website to promote coming soon features and keep people in the loop. This can help create a desire for your products and ensure that people keep coming back for more. The beauty of the internet today is that people can now find you in their homes, out walking the dog, or even sailing in the middle of the ocean, and that’s because the internet is everywhere.
By writing new content and increasing your organic search efforts, you can attract new customers based on your targeted keywords. This means as buzzwords and services change, your website can adapt with you. Best of all, you don’t need to start from scratch, just tweak your strategy.
Grow an Online Community All About You
If you have a strong user base, then one of the ways your website can save you money is by providing a platform for your customers or members to meet in a digital space and support one another. Some might shy away from this, but it does two things. One, you can find out what your community is interested in and two, you can learn about any issues and provide support accordingly.
If for example, your business sells particular product ranges, then if one customer has an issue, they can help support other customers by providing answers which will then show up if the same issue arises with the other customers. This can work really well. For example, how many times have you visited YouTube to watch a product review or to learn more about how to use a product? Generated user content feels more authentic to many and this means you’re not spending money on customer support but collecting knowledge and then feeding back into the knowledge bank for your business. If you do have support staff, then all they have to potentially do is provide a quick answer and then say for more information please visit this link.
Your member’s area becomes a learning hub all about you and collecting all your multimedia in one place. It can also make them feel special too like they’re part of a club if you keep your area private. Of course, the only downside is that you will need to respond to content created (most of the time initially), but as your community grows, they can be left to their own devices a lot of the time. Just make sure you have spam blocks enabled and run an approval process if you wish to keep your community private.
Automate Your Online Bookings
Via your website, you can offer online booking calendars which can work for scheduling calls, meetings and even holidays. This means if you’re a small business or want to operate efficiently, you are allowing customers to book times which work for them as well as you and save the back and forth of planning a time which can happen. It also means customers will need to book faster as it will operate first come first serve basis which develops demand and creates a desire for your services. You better book in quickly or the slot might not be there!
Speed Up Product Development, Data Collection and Analysis
If you have data capture features enabled on your website (such as feedback widgets and crafted forms), then you can collect a lot of information either pre-launching a product or during the development of a product. In essence, you can use your website to gather valuable feedback.
You can also use your website to conduct surveys. Perhaps you’re a restaurant and want to learn about customer experiences. You can add a QR code to your menus and have them scan it and go straight to your survey form, this way you don’t need to pay third-party costs for survey software.
Perhaps you want to know what people are looking for content-wise about your business, and what keeps them engaged. Have a look at your website analytics and you will find your top-performing content. Coupled with your social activity and you can start to build a picture of who likes what.
Build Social Proofing
When someone first hears about you, be it through a meeting or recommendation, the first thing they are likely going to do is check out your website. This means social proofing becomes an important step which you can build onto your site. In essence, social proofing is confirming assumptions that if you’re ok with others then all is well and it builds positive feedback for the potential client or customer.
This can come in the form of testimonials, social media metrics (likes and shares), experts supporting your content and work, people your website links to and certifications you might have on your business.
All of this can be displayed on your website and it re-enforces social proofing automatically at the subconscious level.
Focus On Your Business Together
When building a website you want to get as many people or departments involved in some capacity. Why? Because different people will use your website in different ways. Very often, we’re so focused on the projection we give about ourselves, that we forget about the internal use of the website in the business.
For example, you could use your eCommerce store which is selling physical products, internally and externally. Whilst emailing or talking to a customer on the phone (or via live chat) you can help them by providing informative information from your website. They might think they want product A but actually, product C would be a better fit for their requirement and they can determine this from the website URL you provide to them.
You might discover that the sales team are constantly being asked for a particular PDF document, a quick conversation with your engineering team later and you realise you can simply provide this document on the website which in turn reduces a frequently asked question at the business.
Sometimes, it’s the website that brings everyone together in the same room. By simply asking different people how they use the website and how their customers use the website, including on what devices, you can start to build a firm picture of the architecture and information requirements of your website. You can show them perhaps items which remain unused in the warehouse and offer a discount to get rid of old stock which can help bring in extra cash to the business. By offering up a refund form, you can also use this tactic to recycle any returned items and personalise the content to the customer.
As any business evolves so can the website. You can always keep adding to it and watching it grow. This means your website can do much more for you and your teams. It is often the anchor that brings everyone together.
Make your website work for the whole business, not just the sales team and you will get more from it both internally and externally.
Save On Printing Costs and Speed to Market
Once you print that flyer, poster or leaflet you can’t change it. The rise of tablet devices and mobile phones means that you can now produce digital versions of what used to be an offline copy. The benefit of the digital version? You can update it if you need to and publish it in an instant.
The other benefit is you can track the most popular content too. This means you can start to analyse how your marketing material is being accessed by your customers and clients.
Perhaps you need a hard copy of things. That’s fine. It’s good for people to have something tangible to take away. But to decrease your printing costs, you can make your website the source of the latest information. By making your offline copy “evergreen” which means generic and not driven by the latest news or product range and does not need updating as often, you can direct people to your website for the latest information. This means you can save on your printing costs.
If you run an eCommerce store, then one of the best ways your website can save you money is by adding and updating products. The moment you publish your product online any customer in the world once they have found your website can purchase that product. There are no printing delays and no further overheads than the person who has added the product to the website. You can start generating sales instantly by sharing your website link.
Target Key Customers with Personalised Information
You can use your website to target key potential customers. For example, if you were going to do a leaflet drop which was door to door, most people are likely not interested but you’ve paid for the leaflet anyway.
With a website, you can find out people’s interests and collect their contact email addresses. You can then send information which will be of interest to them and not send out and spend on information which isn’t. This way you are personalising your information making you more accessible.
Rather than sending leaflets, for example, you can create curated email lists and send helpful information which promotes your business, provides further support, custom offers and more, all much cheaper than printing a hard copy and having it thrown in the bin. The digital space moves quickly, but so can you with your website.
With analytics, you can also understand how customers are using your website. You can see which pages are most visited, how long they stay on your website and where and why they are leaving. This means you can then modify your site accordingly. It takes the guesswork out of your digital marketing and helps really improve your service.
Your website can save you money by performing automatic tasks. For example, how many times have you tried to schedule a meeting but the schedules just don’t line up and you end up going back and forth ten times just trying to get a meeting in the diary? In the end, you just give up or it just never happens. Well, with your website you can offer online booking systems which link directly to people’s calendars. It stops all the back and forth and saves a lot of effort.
You can also create workflows which guide customers through your website step by step. This saves someone having to be on phone to handhold them (which is fine by the way it’s just you might need a really big support team) and means you can do the work once and then have it run every time someone lands on your website. This can also be especially helpful with onboarding. Perhaps when a client signs up for your product, service or support, you can automate a drip campaign to keep them engaged and informed of all the steps and features of the service. Build it once and you can play it over and over for each client.
You can also create sales funnels which kick into gear based on particular actions someone takes. This then gets them to the right piece of information and department of the company without someone having to sit in the middle triaging calls or emails.
For example, you can easily feature your favourite products on the homepage so that they get more attention than products which are not selling so well. It also means you can keep your online store and site looking fresh and new by updating your marketing content. This is a particularly well-used tactic of online retailers to keep their websites looking busy and coupon sites such as Groupon.
Another great example of this is the use of video. You do the video one and it plays each time some presses play. They could receive a personal welcome or you could provide the latest product video to them without you needing to do anything beyond the initial recording.
Make a Great First Impression
Your website is likely going to be the first point of contact someone may have with you. It’s important therefore that you make a good impression and this means on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Believe it or not, it only takes about 50 milliseconds (ms) (that’s 0.05 seconds) for someone to form an opinion about your website and whether they will stay or leave. If they leave, you may never hear from them again. That’s why it’s important to have a website which is optimised for conversions so that you get more out of it than just how pretty it looks.
Depending on the goals of the website will determine how the website is designed, but for most, it’s for people to get in touch and take action and all those steps go further than just the design alone.
Hopefully, this handy article has highlighted some of the ways a website can save you money.
To quickly recap:
- Look beyond just the design of the website and think about the overall customer experience and end goals.
- Utilise lead generation technology to keep the website working 24/7 even when business hours are over.
- Research keywords so content can be created that people are searching for online so you show up in Google.
- Optimise the website for organic search for free traffic.
- Provide options for customers to create content on your behalf so you can build greater trust and authority.
- Automate workflows in the business to reduce calls and frequently asked questions.
- Use carefully considered data capture forms to learn valuable feedback and ideas.
- Follow up with visitors by offering email sign-ups on key pages.
The essence of technology is to be able to do more with less, and unlike people, a website should be operating for you 24/7. So make sure you have taken the time to get as much out of a website as possible and keep thinking outside the box on how to get more leads, offer greater support and get things done faster, you will reap the benefits and find that optimising your website adds to the ways your website can save you money.